Dreamers Are Just A Distraction. 10 Million People Are About To Be Deported.
The Trump Administration is about to embark on the largest deportation effort in modern history. And no one is talking about it.
While the current focus of immigration reform focuses on the fate of Dreamers, the nightmare we are about to face as a nation is the deportation of the remaining 10 million immigrants that are ineligible for DACA status.
Since Inauguration Day, ICE arrests have gone up 42%. Tactics have become more aggressive and targets are no longer unnaturalized immigrants with records of violent criminal activity. They are grandparents that have lived here for close to forty years, fathers of newborns coming out of surgery, parents dropping their children off at schools, women seeking protection from domestic abuse, and even a 10 year old girl that was in the hospital fighting for her life.
If you don’t know these stories, please take the time to click the links, read the stories and watch the videos. Especially the video that was recorded by a 13-year-old girl as ICE took her father away.
These are people. A lack of DACA status does not make them any less human. A lack of documentation does not make them any less capable of feeling pain. And a lack of citizenship papers is not an excuse to institute cruel and unusual punishments. It is not an excuse to defend these punishments. And it is not an excuse to stand by and do nothing.
The only thing more horrifying than the fact that the GOP and the Trump Administration are about to engage in what will become the second largest deportation effort in the history of the modern world, is the fact that the party positioned to stop them is in full compliance.
While the Republicans and Democrats both engage in political theater over the state of Dreamers, both have already agreed to fund thousands of new ICE and Border Patrol Agents for Trump’s Schutzstaffel (SS) and hundreds of new judges and lawyers to process immigrants for deportation.
This is unacceptable.
We cannot defeat the Republican Party, the Trump Administration or white supremacy in general if we continue to pick and choose which communities we are willing to sell out to them and their political machinery. We cannot defeat them if we keep turning in on ourselves. We must begin to take a stand in defense of our own at-risk communities, but we must also stand in solidarity with other communities that are also being dismantled and destroyed by the Trump Agenda.
To that end, we must defend each other forcefully and unapologetically. Below is a list of the most commonly used arguments and counterarguments designed to help us do just that.
Use the facts provided to clarify your own understanding of immigration in the US, and then weaponize them in defense of the men, women, children, and families living in terror as unnaturalized immigrants in Trump’s America. The battle over the fate of the Dreamers isn’t the end of our war against the Trump Administration’s attacks on immigrants. It is only the beginning.
MAGA LIE 1: Unnaturalized immigrants have no rights
Truth: Unnaturalized immigrants in the United States have Constitutional rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. These rights have been upheld numerous times by the supreme court.
MAGA LIE 2: Being in the US illegally is a crime and the consequence is deportation
Truth: Not all crimes carry the same weight or punishments.
While residing in the US as an unnaturalized immigrant is against the law, it is a civil offense — not a criminal offense. You can learn more about how such offenses are currently handled by clicking here. It makes as much sense to argue that all jaywalkers should be deported because they are criminals.
MAGA LIE 3: Immigrants, especially Mexicans, are flooding the borders
Truth: The number of undocumented immigrants that have crossed into the United States has reached its lowest level since 2003.
Unauthorized immigration from Mexico has also declined dramatically. So dramatically, in fact, that Chinese immigrants are entering the United States at higher rates than Mexican immigrants. And only 7% of the 5 million unnaturalized Mexican immigrants living in the US (population 320 million) have entered the US in the past 5 years. That’s less than 650,000, or just over 100,000 per year. Comparatively, Canadian and European immigrants enter the United States at a rate of over 130, 000 per year. And in fact, when analyzed in conjunction with emigration statistics, Mexican immigrants are leaving the country faster than they are coming in.
MAGA LIE 4: Undocumented immigrants are leeching off the system
Truth: Unnaturalized immigrants aren’t leaching off the system — the system is leeching off them.
Unnaturalized immigrants contribute hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy: $11B annually to be specific. They have also paid over $100 billion dollars into Social Security in the past decade alone, even though they are ineligible to receive Social Security Benefits. As a result of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law, unnaturalized immigrants are also unable to qualify to receive welfare, foods stamps, Medicaid. Even once immigrants become naturalized, most of these programs require 5 years of residency before they can be accessed.
MAGA LIE 5: Unnaturalized Immigrants are stealing native born jobs
Truth: There are no jobs that Americans won’t do. There ARE jobs, though, that citizens will not be offered because they have legal protections from certain levels of economic exploitation and workplace abuse.
Markets that exploit immigrant labor build profits off of subminimum wages, negligence of labor laws, hazardous conditions, and physical abuse. When their unprotected and underpaid labor force dwindles, employers as a whole have not chosen to provide fair wages and safe standards for new black or white members of the working class. They have chosen to let their crops die and replace immigrant labor with machines and technology that require no wages.
MAGA LIE 6: Unnaturalized Immigrants are all criminals
The Cato Institute, the National Academy of Sciences and the Sentencing Project have all confirmed that immigrants in general, and unnaturalized immigrants specifically, are significantly less likely to commit crimes than their native born counterparts.
The Cato Institute reports:
“Illegal immigrants are 44 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives. Legal immigrants are 69 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives. Legal and illegal immigrants are underrepresented in the incarcerated population while natives are overrepresented.”
“Immigrants are in fact much less likely to commit crime than natives, and the presence of large numbers of immigrants seems to lower crime rates.” The study added that “This disparity also holds for young men most likely to be undocumented immigrants: Mexican, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan men. …. Today, the belief that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes is perpetuated by ‘issue entrepreneurs’ who promote the immigrant-crime connection in order to drive restrictionist immigration policy.”
The Sentencing Project describes:
“Foreign-born individuals are less likely than native-born individuals to have engaged in violent or non-violent antisocial behaviors in their lifetimes, including harassment, assault, and acquiring multiple traffic violations, despite being more likely to have lower levels of income, less education, and reside in urban areas.”
As a community, unnaturalized immigrants AND naturalized immigrants bring the national crime rate down. They do not elevate it.
There is no reason outside of the logic of white nationalism or the putrid manifestations of personal bigotry that can defend the Trump Administration’s attacks on unnaturalized immigrants in the Unites States. It is just as deplorable to refuse to stand in the way of it. So, take the truth, start standing, start speaking, and start fighting back.
To learn more about Dr. GS Potter and the Strategic Institute for Intersectional Policy (SIIP), visit: http://strategycampsite.org/v2/